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Maple Grove Voice

Business Profile: Spoonful Apparel in Maple Grove

Aug 27, 2019 06:45AM ● By Wendy Erlien

Eric and Susan Elwer, owners of Spoonful (submitted photo)

Four years ago, Maple Grove resident Susan Elwer decided she wanted to make a difference. Today, Spoonful Apparel connects fashion and a passion for fighting childhood hunger. 

"In 2015, I had a vision to create an new apparel brand with inspiring messages that would spark a new conversation. I had an idea, but hadn't found my purpose," Susan shared on the Spoonful Apparel website.  A year later, she encountered a four-year-old student in her preschool class who had gone for the first three months of the year without lunch. 

"In that moment I recognized an opportunity to be part of the solution - and ultimately found the purpose behind the apparel brand," she shared on the website. Her husband, Eric, was looking to move in another direction from his previous executive role.

 After connecting with Nate Garvis with Studio/E (pictured left), Eric got the context and resources he and Susan were looking for to help move forward with their business.  

"A lot of people think 'I'm fearful, afraid' to take the first step. When you take the step - supported by community in a structured, learning environment - there is a safety net. The community rallies together," Eric said of Studio/E. 

Studio/E is a leadership organization that teaches entrepreneurs, business owners, makers and dreamers alike how to explore, collaborate and process their ideas.  

"It's hard not to get behind this idea. You're helping a higher purpose when you buy apparel," Garvis said. 

"What really inspires me is our members," Garvis said of Studio/E. "People weaving a better world together."  He explained how Studio/E helps people "explore and learn" their way into ideas as part of a learning community. 

In 2017, Susan and her husband, Eric, co-founded Spoonful Apparel - selling apparel with inspiring messages which gives half its profits to kids' hunger charities.   

In 2019, Spoonful Apparel is on track to provide 225,000 meals to children. 

"Even when it gets overwhelming, its so great," Eric said of the business.

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